ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Chaudhary Nisar Ali Khan says he has ordered an inquiry into halt of execution of death row prisoner Shafqat Hussain, underlining that neither Presidency nor his ministry had issued such directives, ARY News reported.
It has been established that Hussain was 23-year-old when he committed a murder of 8-year-old child, he said while speaking to journalists in Islamabad today.
With regards to the concerns expressed by the European Union on the capital punishment, Ch Nisar Ali Khan said the execution is being carried out in accordance with the country’s law and constitution.
He regretted the hue and cry on the revival of capital punishment saying a propaganda campaign has been unleashed to make it controversial. He clarified that no juvenile is being sentenced. He said Pakistan respects the laws of other countries and expect the same from them.
EU concerns over execution
The EU spokesperson in a statement issued in Brussels stated that “Effective implementation of the international conventions” is a requirement under the European Union’s GSP+ Regulation.
Generalized System of Preferences Plus (GSP+) scheme provides countries a strong incentive to respect core human and labour rights, the environment and good governance principles.
“At least 150 people have been executed in Pakistan since December 2014, when the government lifted a moratorium on executions in place since 2008,” the statement said. “This represents a major step backwards in Pakistan’s record on human rights. And this morning Aftab Bahadur was executed. His petition, alleging his juvenile status at the time of the crime and torture while in custody to extract a confession, was not given due consideration”.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court dismissed the latest petition of Shafqat Hussain, who again faces execution and who may also have been a juvenile when the crime for which he was convicted was committed. Torture was also alleged in his case, the EU statement said.
It further stated that “Pakistan’s obligations under domestic and international law prohibit the death sentence for crimes committed by persons under eighteen years of age and require prompt and impartial investigation where there is reasonable ground to believe that torture has been committed. Effective implementation of the international conventions is a requirement under the European Union’s GSP+ Regulation.”
The EU is opposed to capital punishment in all cases and has consistently called for its universal abolition. We call on Pakistan to reinstitute the moratorium and to respect fully all of its international obligations.
Over the past 177 days since the moratorium on the death penalty was lifted, Pakistan has executed 155 prisoners on death row, and the number is expected to rise in the coming days.